Q: These two images show an antique tobacco jar that’s been in the family for a while. Info and value?
A: Happily, the reader sent clear images showing both a bottom mark and art on the jar side. The mark tells us the squat, bulbous ceramic jar was made by Royal Winton and that the pattern is Old England, hand-painted. We have no info on size, nor can we see if the jar has a cover.
Royal Winton, in Stoke-on-Trent, England, was founded by the Grimwade brothers in 1886. Since 1928, the company has been known for ceramics decorated with chintz patterns.
To clue readers, chintz china patterns resemble the beloved florals on chintz fabrics. In both cases, the design features closely grouped small florals. Very English.
But the reader’s ceramic shows an old English coaching scene, with locals at a coach stop or inn. That theme was used on American ceramics as well.
Royal Winton chintz patterns (at one time, more than 60 were made), especially breakfast sets and similar small ensembles, are hugely popular with collectors. Other Winton patterns are not collected as avidly.
What would make the reader’s piece interesting is the fact that it is a tobacco jar. Now that tobacco smoking is largely unfashionable, items related to the practice have become relics of the past and collectible. That includes tobacco jars intended for pipe tobacco.
If the reader’s jar is the Winton humidor about 6 inches high by about 7 inches in diameter, and if the lid is intact, it will interest a collector.
We found one that sold on eBay recently for $14.99. Minus the lid, value would be half or less.
Q: These photos show a dresser that belonged to my great-grandmother. I want to sell but have no idea of its value.
A: What the reader calls a dresser is actually a three-drawer washstand from the early 1900s-1920s. The wood is oak, with a dark lacquer. The finish is original. We can’t tell if the washstand front is serpentine or bowed, but that would be a plus.
Intended as bedroom pieces, washstands had a bow-shaped towel bar at the back instead of a mirror. Imagine two long wooden curved pieces rising from a wooden backsplash. Add a towel bar at the top and you have a typical washstand. A small compartment with door underneath held the wash bowl and pitcher.
Washstands were common in pre-plumbing hotel bedrooms, and you’ll often find them listed as hotel washstands.
This one is especially nice as it includes a beveled, framed mirror above the towel bar. Usually parts or all of the back unit are damaged or missing.
On the free sitewww.liveauctioneers.com , we found similar washstands that sold at auction recently for $100 to $125. In a private sale, this one might bring more. Unfortunately, oak furniture is in a down cycle now. But better examples will always sell better.